Some New York coronavirus patients are staying on ventilators as long as 30 days, dimming hopes for their recovery and adding to the shortage of the lifesaving machines, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
Cuomo reported 100 more fatalities, for a total of 385, as hospitals brace for more. The city is even deploying refrigerated trailers for use as temporary morgues.
“This is the really bad news,” Cuomo said at a news conference Thursday. The longer patients stay on ventilators, the lower their odds of survival, he said.
Until the outbreak is under control, Cuomo said officials are focused on reducing not the number of cases but the rate of increase, so hospitals don’t run out of beds.
“This is all about getting that curve down and not overwhelming the hospital system,” he said.
New York added almost 6,500 new confirmed coronavirus cases, for a total of more than 37,000. More than 5,000 patients are hospitalized, with roughly 1,300 in intensive care.
More than 21,000 of the state’s infections are in New York City, up around 3,500 from a day earlier.
With new infections throughout the city and the nearby suburbs, the state is trying to add at least one 1,000-bed overflow facility in all five boroughs and Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties.
On the stimulus bill approved by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, Cuomo said New York state government will receive $5 billion, only for coronavirus expenses, “which is nice, but the bigger problem is on the lost revenues.” He estimated that at $10 billion to $15 billion.
The measure negotiated among lawmakers and the White House “did not help local governments, or state governments, and it did not address the governmental loss,” Cuomo said.
Testing for the coronavirus continues to increase, with almost 19,000 conducted in the last day, Cuomo said. That compares with more than 12,000 a day earlier. Roughly 122,000 people have been tested in all.